Nepali times #680
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Transcript of Nepali times #680
#680 8 - 14 November 2013 20 pages Rs 50
GO, NO GO
The countdown from 10 has begun for the 19 November elections. It is being presented by the government and the international community as an exercise to move forward on the new constitution and drive the
BITING THE BALLOT BY ANURAG ACHARYA
The closest wilderness to Kathmandu got a record number of trekkers this season. Langtang (pic, above) is showing the way to poverty alleviation through tourism.PHOTO ESSAY BY DINESH SHRESTHA
Our very own Shailee Basnet talks about bringing the house down with her stand-up comedy act in the US.
country towards stability. But with a radical faction of the largest party not taking part, there are doubts about whether polls will resolve anything. The antics of
the boycotters is also distracting voters from impunity for war
crimes by some of the candidates, the plunder of the treasury by those in power since 2008, and the issues of federalism and state structure. The question is not if there will be elections, but under what circumstances and at what cost they will be held.
Small and bright
THE WAGES OF SINEDITORIAL PAGE 2
ELECTION COVERAGE FROM THE NEPALI PRESS
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DIVIDED WE DONT RULEDo you think by citing wrong data and facade of a survey with a malicious intention, you can fool the Nepali nation (Divided we dont rule, Editorial, #679)? I am sure you will agree that the different communities residing in Nepal now need to renegotiate the terms of staying together. Your idea to write up the editorial based on the wrong opinion survey and data is your intention to force war on this nation and express your inner desire for national disintegration. Please read the history of India and see how it became a successful nation with so many different nationalities and communities by coming together and practicing the democratic polity.
We ned to start by admitting that the Nepali nation comprises of various nationalities and communities. People who have been ruling Nepal before and after 1989, need to demonstrate a broader understanding of this reality which is not coming through in this editorial. It is not the leaders, but the gang of opinion makers who are on overdrive these days.
Has anyone thought genuinely
looks like and how many and what types of federal states Nepal will be divided into.
One must also look at the lack of interest from top women leaders from all major political parties in contesting polls. Sujata Koirala, Chitralekha Yadav from the Nepali Congress and Bidhya Devi Bhandari from the UML come to mind.
There is widespread and blatant discrimination against women in this country. It exists all over the world, but probably is not as prevalent as in third world countries. However, I think instead of pointing to the top with political leaders, we can make changes if we start from our children, families, students and so on. If we could educate them to respect women and treat them as an equal at a young age, maybe it will bring a signifi cant change sooner or later.
THE RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SONA very emotional and interesting story of a mother and son who faced a lot of hardships (The return of the prodigal son, Guna Raj Luitel #679). Despite what the world threw at them, both of them continue to remain warmhearted
and practically about how having a Limbuwan, a Kirat state, a Newa rajya is going to divest power away from Kathmandu to other cities? Beyond the highly charged identity politics gibberish, has any serious thought been put into the federalism agenda ?
BOYS WILL BE BOYSFirst of all its beyond shameful that out of the 13 million women in this country (well technically lets say 6-7 million eligible by age) the 130 political parties cannot even fi eld 1,000 or 1,500 female candidates (Boys will be boys, Trishna Rana #679). Secondly, even their election manifestos are largely devoid of gender issues. Its like we women, our concerns, our voice just do not matter. Right now the entire national discourse is consumed by ethnic-identity based states, but if ethnicity is such an important identity marker, shouldnt gender also be considered?
Lets be honest here, how much infl uence did the 197 women and 404 men in CA-1 really have? I know I sound very cynical but it does not matter if there are 601 women or 601 Janajatis in the assembly. In the end it will be the four-fi ve men (Dahal, Bhattarai, Khanal, Koirala, Nepal and perhaps even Baidya) who will decide what our new constitution
8 - 14 NOVEMBER 2013 #6802 EDITORIAL
THE WAGES OF SINcommunist candidates in the mountains of mid-western Nepal. These habits die hard and they are using these tactics again in some places. The UML has the Youth Force on a leash and the NC its Tarun Dal. Both justify them as deterrence against the Maoist YCL. However, the physical assault by UML goons on a journalist who deigned to ask UML candidate Ishwar Pokhrel a question during an interaction last week and Pokhrels inability or unwillingness to reprimand cadre proved that even the Unified Marxist-Leninists are afflicted with vestigial violence.
Unlike the 2008 election when many Nepalis voted for the Maoists not because they liked them, but because it was a vote for peace, this time the people know that all the talk by erstwhile revolutionaries about liberating the people was just that: talk. Clinging to straws, the party has tried to use the ethnicity agenda to recruit voters much in the same way they used it to recruit cannon fodder for their war. Which is why the 2013 replay of the CA election will be one where the Maoists will be held accountable for the violence and
brutality that they inflicted on the people in a war they waged in the peoples name. Nepali voters this time are not afraid to ask: what was it all for?
In two weeks, Nepalis wil l be vot ing for the candidate they think is most likely to deliver them better healthcare and education, create jobs, build roads, and not be too greedy while doing all that. And, oh yes, can we finally get a constitution that wont make everything worse?
At the back of everyones mind, however, will be one thought: does this candidate have blood on his hands?
individuals and dont seem to have any grudges against anyone who made them suffer, instead they want to help them. Thanks to the teaching of Buddha for making people compassionate and generous. Three cheers to the mother and son from Tsum.
I am also from Tsum and was saddened to read about Chumba Lamas childhood. Congratulations for your success and all the best wishes for the philanthropic work youre doing in our hometown.
(DIS)QUIET IN NEPALGANJA constitution doesnt have to be perfect. It can be amended with time, as suited to contemporary ideals as long as the chosen leader is a progressive one (Disquiet in Nepalganj, Mallika Aryal, #679). The biggest dilemma for Nepali people now is having the ability to choose capable leaders by detaching their personal emotions.
The sad reality of this election is that we need the big boys. No matter how much we would love to see new, fresh faces and ideas, the cabal of powerful men wont let the constitution
The daily countdown from 10 has started for election day on 19 November. It is an election that is being presented as a panacea for getting the country moving forward again. But the people have been fooled too often to believe in cure-alls.
But despite all its flaws, this is an election that can offer the peoples verdict on a slew of issues. By turning out in larger-than-expected numbers, voters will be sending a message against those calling for a boycott. By voting out the discredited old faces who had many chances in the past and blew it, the people will show they want positive change. By casting their ballots for weak women candidates that the Big Four have fielded so that their national leaders can win, the people can finally prove that you cant fool all the people all the time. A strong showing by political parties that stand for democracy, pluralism, and non-violence will show that these are still the values that this country wants to be governed by. The election result will also give us an idea about the peoples preference for the kind of federalism and state structure they prefer. However, if the old politicians still win with huge majorities and honest candidates are trounced, it will mean that block voting, ballot-buying, intimidation, and cheating are still rife.
The people will send their strongest message, however, if they defeat those who espouse violence in politics. Despite their entry into the mainstream and the split in the party, the UCPN (M) has never formally abjured violence and continues to exploit the residual fear of physical reprisal to cow down opponents and extort people. Even thou